Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 37.djvu/354

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
Southern Historical Society Papers.

It bears this inscription, in part:

"In loving and grateful memory of 224 known and unknown Confederate soldiers, from Virginia, * * * who lie buried in national cemeteries in Philadelphia."

On the other side may be read:

"Dying in captivity and tendered a monument in Philadelphia, where they lie buried, this stone is erected to their everlasting honor in the heart of the Confederacy."

Virginia can afford a monument for brave men from Pennsylvania. It is said that 6,000 bullets shot by Federal and Confederate soldiers will be in evidence in Petersburg, and that the menu cards will each have a Confederate bullet tied with a gray ribbon, and a Federal bullet tied with a blue ribbon. As brethren, they will sit at the same board, and with the evidence of bullet for bullet beside each plate, they will talk of the past, and then smoke together the Virginia cigar of peace. And they will respect, and, maybe, love each other, for they were soldiers! The blood so freely shed on those battlefields has consecrated the soil. The wounds on the breast of Virginia have healed, and the scars are honorable!

This birthplace of constitutional liberty was chosen in God's providence as the place where much blood from Northern and Southern hearts should mingle with the soil and make it more sacred to all the country. Virginia stood for four years as the bulwark of the South. She must stand in the future as the bulwark of the nation, because her soil holds the dust of more heroes than any other State.

My brethren, God is not on the side of the heaviest artillery, but on the side of truth; and truth is mighty and will prevail. Mothers and sisters, ye daughters of the South, brave, true, and faithful in the past, help us to make the present worthy of the past, that the future may be glorious.

Let your memorial to future generations, be They kept with perpetual care the graves of those who died for what we love. And see to it that the world shall know that for us it is more